Blackmail ‘official’ arrested

A man claiming to represent the Competition Commission tried to earn a 2.5-million-euro fee from a company in exchange for a promise not to subject the firm to an audit, the Development Ministry said yesterday. The suspect, who was not identified, allegedly accepted 200,000 euros yesterday as a downpayment to keep the firm off the committee’s radar. The unnamed company is said to have then contacted Competition Commission President Spyros Zisimipoulos, who in turn notified the Development Ministry. Zisimopoulos said the suspect is not connected to the competition watchdog but his identity was not made public. Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said that the capture of the suspect highlights the state’s zero tolerance of corruption and said the committee will keep doing its job regardless of any senior contacts a company may have in the government. More details about the investigation will be released by the Public Order Ministry, he added.